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Silicone sealant between backing plate & differential flange?


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So, I've finally gotten around to replacing my bad rear wheel bearings. I knew I had delayed too long when I realized I could tell how fast I was going by the pitch of the bearing whine. 


The driver's side bearing is full of rusty goo. It looks like water was getting in between the differential flange and the backing plate. Is there any reason that I shouldn't seal this joint with a thin layer of silicone sealant? This side has no shims. The passenger side, which still had viable grease in the bearing, has one shim. 


What do you all think? 




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Well, it looks like I have bigger problems than bad bearings. The inner race fell right off after I cut the collar free.


Both the axle and the spacer are heavily grooved. Anyone in LA area have an extra axle they could part with?





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